ust when the dieting world seemed to calm down and the mantra of “Eat Less, Move More” seemed to be the prevailing wisdom, Japan goes crazy for bananas.

The Morning Banana Diet regime is simple: A banana (or as many as you want) and room temperature water for breakfast; eat anything you like for lunch and dinner (by 8 p.m.). A three o’clock snack is okay, but no desserts after meals, and you have to go to bed before midnight. Sumiko Watanabe, a pharmacist in Osaka designed this stress-free diet to help increase the metabolism of her husband Hitoshi Watanabe, who had been rather overweight. In due course, Mr. Watanabe lost 37 pounds
If you notice, the most important part of the diet is number four:
Eat until you’re full, but not stuffed.
This simple concept is THE reason that people might lose weight on this diet. It’s an idea that Weight Watchers and many other diet programs have promoted for the last decade. Being able to eat until you’re satisfied, but not full is the biggest predictor of whether you’ll be able to lose the weight and keep it off.
This diet has caused runs on bananas in Japan and it looks like Dole is trying to create the same fervor in the United States. They are calling it the Dole Banana Diet. Look at this advertisement I pulled out of People Magazine last month.
Dole Banana Diet: Click to see full size
According to Dole,
Bananas contain resistant starch which research shows blocks conversion of some carbohydrates into fuel, boosting fat burning by forcing your body to rely on fat stores instead – a sure aid to sustainable weight loss. Dole has created a delicious banana diet to help you stick to your New Year’s resolution.

Will the Morning Banana Diet make you thin?

Maybe… I think we need a lot more research on the “magical” powers of resistant starch. Replacing your usual breakfast with one banana could save you anywhere from 400 to 700 calories, depending on what you usually eat for breakfast. That amount of caloric reduction could result in a loss of a pound a week as long as you don’t over compensate at lunch and dinner.

Is the Morning Banana Diet hazardous?

Probably not. There is a risk of feeling REALLY hungry before lunch, especially if you deal with low blood sugar on a regular basis. I prefer to have protein with every meal because it makes me feel full. More importantly, eating a banana for breakfast every morning is a really good way to get sick of bananas and never want to eat them again. They are a GREAT addition to your diet but do you really want to make yourself sick of them?

Are you going to try it?

Sorry, Dole, I’m not buying it any more than I bought the Three Apple a Day Diet or the Dairy Diet. Sure, I’m going to eat bananas when they sound like a good breakfast, but the Morning Banana Diet just sounds like a way to make Dole very rich.
Watch out. Even the seemingly healthy ideas are backed by people trying to take your money. Choose a diet that is balanced and that you can live with. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a good option, but any plan that tries to convince you that one certain food is THE answer is just trying to take your money.